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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> commercial opportunity, please help :) !
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01/02/2008 02:30:05 PM · #1
I have been approached by a health conscious smoothie company wanting me to do photographs for their image bank for advertising. They are interested in a wide variety of shots ranging from models, customers, stores,and products. I am excited for the opportunity and want to do everything I can to prepare and make this as successful as possible for everyone involved. I do have some questions I am really hoping some of the more experienced photographers on here could help me with though. I apologize in advance if some of my questions sound amateur, but we all have to start learning somewhere right? :)

I know a good deal of this will also depend on what their needs and wants are, in which I have set up a meeting in person so we can go into more detail... BUT..

I have a studio that I can work out of for a minimal fee, and any additional equipment I do not have or need for special projects I can obtain... that part is not as much of a worry for me... it is more the business side of things that I worry about, so I am not taken advantage of and everything is fair for both parties.

What can I expect as far as releasing the photos to them for their advertising? Any recommendations from personal experience as far as how this could/should be handled as far as Price, Rights, etc...

Any other advice regarding contracts, photo rights, pricing, or just sharing previous experience is super appreciated! Thanks!

Jamie

01/02/2008 03:02:07 PM · #2
I am not a lawyer, but from my contacts in the film biz, still photogs that are hired by the production company reserve all rights to any image shot during employment of the photog.

I know that some of the photogs have negotiated to use what ever images they wanted for their portfolios, but that is as far as they could go.

That's all I got.
01/02/2008 03:08:11 PM · #3
i recently pumped my uncle (professional photography out of kansas) for basically all the same questions, as well DPC. it didn't have alot of replies, but there's good information in there. read here.

basicaly my uncle told me to always retain copyright of your work and release limit use permission to your client (unless they decide to pay you $50,000 for the full copyright, but that most likely wont happen). he also told me to always get a model release form and to agree on what you will shoot, how it will be delivered and how long will it take you to edit and deliver your work. he also gave me the good peice of advice of only show your client(s) your edits, there's no reason to show them everything you've shot.

-CW
01/02/2008 03:09:20 PM · #4
Most all commercial shoots work this way:
You have a creative fee, usually by the day, or 1/2 day. That is for shooting and creating proofs. Usually the client is there at the shoot (when you have models and such) and this day and age is watching what you do, as you do it, so you have immediate feedback. Sounds like a pain I know, but no reshoots and they get exactly what they want the first time.

Models, any props, lcoations, materials (paper BGs, etc), makeup artists, permits, etc are charged at their cost plus a markup - hey, you had to chase down the stuff, pay for it, and then bill them for it - you get paid for that. 10 to 20% is normal depending on what it is. Studio rental may fall under this category as well - you are not paying it, the client is, so charge the going rate (often several hundred dollars an hour if it's equipped with lights and such).

Now you have images! They pay PER IMAGE based on the USE of that image. See fotoquote for that information.

Don't let your ego get the better of you and let you be taken advantage of. From your description this sounds like a multi thousand dollar job - one they are perhaps trying to get done dirt cheap by telling you how great an opportunity it is for you.

Great - I have 7 weddings booked this year - I'll give you an opportunity to edit all 8500 images and design all the albums - just think of how great that will look on your resume!

Umm...it's called WORK and you get paid for doing it. They are going to make money off these images, so it's not like your doing a favor some welfare recipient or a fudnraiser for the underpriveledged.

Creative fees / shoot fees around here run $2000 to $3000 a day, plus any rentals, etc.
Licensing varies tremendously - you've got websites, local and national ads, mailings, labels, POP displays and more. Often there is a time limit on the usage (year, 2 years, etc) And basically once you've given them a hi-res file you've given up control of it. Yeah, if they esceed the useage license you can sue, but it's not worth in 99% of the time, and it only hurts your reputation.

Since they didnt' choose a known commercial photog, I'd be asking why not? Have they done something like this before and who'd they use? How'd that turn out? (did they not pay and so can't go back to him? It's more common than you think. Or did they go beyond their usage deal and can't go back? You need to know!) Are they talking to anyone else about this (low bid wins or what?). Ask their budget! If they've never done this before, and you haven't, it's the blind leading the blind, and that leads to stumbles - mis-understandings, delays, etc. Not a problem, but be aware of the probablity of it happening. What is their deadline?

Get EVERYTHING in writing, spec'd out in as much detail as possible. Have them show you the types of images they want. Will you be giving finished images (cutout images, etc) or do they have a person to handle that and you just hand over CC but otherwise untouched files?

Message edited by author 2008-01-02 15:10:45.
01/02/2008 04:33:47 PM · #5
awesome feedback so far everyone, thank you!
01/02/2008 10:20:03 PM · #6
I have taken Chris's (Prof_Fate) recommendation and purchased fotoquote and fotobiz. I can't say enough good things about these programs. They have ALOT of very useful information that I have already gotten into! Thanks for your advice and help folks. Wish me luck :)
04/14/2008 02:17:33 PM · #7
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Most all commercial shoots work this way:
You have a creative fee, usually by the day, or 1/2 day. That is for shooting and creating proofs. Usually the client is there at the shoot (when you have models and such) and this day and age is watching what you do, as you do it, so you have immediate feedback. .....
Get EVERYTHING in writing, spec'd out in as much detail as possible. Have them show you the types of images they want. Will you be giving finished images (cutout images, etc) or do they have a person to handle that and you just hand over CC but otherwise untouched files?


OK thanks for this post. I'm reading through as many as I can just got a meeting for a potential commercial shoot, and this post was invaluable. Thanks!
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